Preview: The Sultan of Selangor's Cup 2017
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
The Sultan of Selangor’s Cup (TSSC) 2017 will be held in Singapore for the first time since 2009 and it will be played at the National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub on 6 May 2017 (Saturday).
Here’s a lowdown of the matches that will take place...
Singapore-Selangor Schools Challenge Cup (4.45pm)
Singapore Sports School vs Selangor Combined Schools
In addition to the traditional curtain-raiser match, this year will see the introduction of the Singapore-Selangor Schools Challenge Cup.
It will see the Singapore Sports School Under-16 boys take on the Selangor Combined Schools at 4.45pm.
According to Shahrin Shari, the man tasked to lead the group of young boys from Singapore, preparations had gone well and believes this match will be a good platform for his players to showcase their abilities.
“It's a privilege and an honour to be involved in this event,” he said. “It's an opportunity for the boys to experience not just playing a good opposition, but also in front of a good crowd and good facility.
“We hope to give a good account of ourselves and show that we can play good football; show what the Sports School is about, and what Singapore football is capable of.
“Hopefully the boys can calm their nerves on a big stage like this and deliver a result we can all be proud of.”
And Shahrin insists the boys need to look no further than themselves for the drive they may need.
He added: “I don’t have to tell them much, if this is not enough motivation then I don’t know what is.
“This match should already be a motivation in itself for the players and I am certain they will be up for the challenge.”
Meanwhile, spearing the frontline for the Singapore Sports School will be Marc Ryan Tan - the son of former international striker Steven Tan.
The fleet-footed attacking player, who looks up to his father as his ‘inspiration’, says he is looking forward to the game.
“I’m definitely excited, playing at the National Stadium has always been my dream,” he enthused.
“I’ve always been working towards this and the moment has finally arrived. My family is really excited because I’m playing for the Under-16s and my dad in the Veterans match.
“We will put up a good show for the crowd and show them what we Singaporeans can do, especially players from the Sports School.”
Singapore Veterans vs Selangor Veterans (6.30pm)
The second match of the evening will see the Singapore Veterans take on the Selangor Veterans, with the likes of Fandi Ahmad, Steven Tan and Nazri Nasir likely to turn out for the former.
It will a reunion of sorts for the players from the yesteryears who have entertained fans from both sides of the Causeway with their dazzling runs and twinkled toes on the field during their heydays.
The Singapore Veterans, who are four-time winners, could also see 41-year-old Aide Iskandar make his TSSC debut in this year’s edition.
“It always feels great to be back with my former national teammates such as Steven Tan and Fandi Ahmad and getting a chance to play with veterans like Robert Sim and Ahmad Sayuti,” he said.
“It’s very refreshing and we are looking forward to a good game.”
This being his first, Aide is keen to play in the editions that will follow.
“It’s definitely a privilege to be able to play against the Selangor Selection,” he added.
“I do hope I can contribute for many years to come. I look forward to playing for the Singapore Veterans and I hope that the Singapore fans will come down to the National Stadium and roar us to victory.”
The Singapore Veterans lost 2-0 to the Selangor Veterans in the 2016 edition, and will be looking to avenge for that defeat.
Singapore Selection vs Selangor Selection (8pm) (MAIN MATCH)
Defending champions of TSSC, the Singapore Selection will be led by Singapore football legend Fandi Ahmad who is assisted by two other former internationals in Nazri Nasir (Assistant Coach) and Noh Alam Shah (Team Manager) this year.
Fandi has named a 21-man strong squad that comprises of players from all eight local-based Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League clubs and they include the likes of current National Team players such as Hassan Sunny, Hariss Harun, Faris Ramli and Khairul Amri.
The squad has also been boosted with the addition of Albirex Niigata (S) duo of defender Yasutaka Yanagi and midfielder Kento Nagasaki.
Warriors FC’s Ho Wai Loon will be one who will be making his TSSC debut and the left-back is looking forward to playing in front of a partisan crowd at the National Stadium.
He said: "I've always wanted to part of TSSC and I think it's an honour for me to be chosen to be part of the Singapore Selection squad.
“Now that I have the chance to play, I can't wait to get out there and show the fans what I can do.
“I’m definitely looking forward to playing at the National Stadium. I am sure the fans will love and come out and create a good atmosphere at the Singapore Sports Hub.
“Hopefully I can get a good experience out of it. Maybe more will follow - who knows?”
With such a strong-looking squad, it is evident that Fandi will be going all out for a victory that have what it takes to equal Selangor’s Selection tally of seven wins in the TSSC.
The Singapore Selection won 4-3 on penalties after the match had ended 1-1 in regulation time at the Shah Alam Stadium last year.
Tickets for the match are priced at $8 for Adults and $3 for Concession*. They will be available from 9.00am on 3 April 2017 via www.sportshubtix.com, and from 10.00am via the SportsHub Box Office, SingPost outlets and the Sports Hub hotline (+65 3158 7888).
Above-mentioned ticket prices exclude ticketing fee.
* Concession tickets are applicable to Students aged 4 to 16, and Senior Citizens aged 60 and above. Children aged 4 and above must purchase a ticket for admission. Infant in arms and children under 4 years of age may be admitted free of charge provided they do not occupy a seat.